For the past twenty years, Kaylin McFarren has worked in PR and marketing for her family-owned conglomerate, the Yoshida Group, which consists of eighteen diverse corporations. She was appointed as one of nine commissioners to the Oregon Arts Commission by Governor Kitzhaber while working as the director of a nationally-acclaimed art gallery in Portland, Oregon.
Kaylin has also served on numerous college and charity foundation boards, and continues her commitment to hospitals and children’s causes. For most of her life, she has written poems and short stories, and along with novels, currently writes articles for a syndicated travel magazine. Although Flaherty’s Crossing is Kaylin’s début novel, it has already garnered numerous awards and received recognition as a 2008 Golden Heart® Finalist.
Q: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Yes, most of my life. I honestly remember writing poems when I was five years old. I got into short stories when I was in junior high and eventually some of them ended up in my high school newspaper. My interest in writing continued for years but was limited to public relations with an emphasis on press releases and daily correspondence. In regard to novels, although I’ve contemplated penning a few for some time now, I’ve actually been writing manuscripts for a relatively short period of time.
Q: Tell us briefly about your book.
In short, Flaherty’s Crossing is the story of a young woman’s emotional, faith-seeking journey that begins when her estranged, dying father reveals the part he played in her mother’s untimely death.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
I’m presently working on an action/adventure romance titled Severed Threads. Here’s the jest of the story: In order to save the life of her estranged brother from a ruthless mobster, former marine biologist Rachel Lyons is forced to steal a legendary artifact out from under Jordan Novak, a salvage diver and former love interest. However, when she discovers that Jordan has his own unselfish agenda for recovering the treasure, Rachel must decide whose life and love is more important.
I’m hoping to turn Severed Threads into a series which will take readers into mysterious and entrancing worlds such as Kyoto’s geisha quarters. I’m one of those writers who are never short on ideas – just a good, old-fashioned Irish storyteller I guess.
Q: Do you have a favorite character? Why is s/he your favorite?
Drew Coleman in Flaherty’s Crossing is one of my favorite characters. He’s an attractive, middle-aged divorce attorney who has spent most of his life trying to live up to his father’s expectations. In the midst of struggling with his obligations and job responsibilities, Drew’s marriage to Kate Flaherty explodes over trust issues and is left in total disrepair. However, when he learns his wife’s life is at risk, his priorities quickly shift and he discovers where his love and loyalties truly lie.
Q: What type of music, if any, do you listen to while you write? Do you need the noise or the silence?
I love to listen to music and my taste varies depending on my mood and the stories I’m working on. When I need romantic inspiration, I listen to Enya or old Stevie Nicks’ songs. I love to create intimate conversations while Michael Buble croons. But I’ve also been known to blast some U-2 and Springsteen when I’m writing an intense or dramatic scene.
Q: How do you balance out the writer’s life and the rest of life? Do you get up early? Stay up late? Ignore friends and family for certain periods of time?
Well, my children are grown, my husband travels extensively, and I have a great library with lots of peace and quite. This affords me the luxury of writing as much as I like, which could easily involve working from 10am – 1am. However, my friends and family find ways to drag me to lunches, to movies, and on vacations just so I don’t completely alienate myself.
Q: The main characters of your stories – do you find that you put a little of yourself into each of them or do you create them to be completely different from you?
I’ve been known to include aspects of myself and the people closest to me in my characters – especially in regard to appearance, conversations, career choices, and interests. I guess that’s what makes them more believable – three dimensional, you might say.
Q: So I understand you have a special project for all the proceeds from your book Flaherty’s Crossing. Can you tell us about this?
After witnessing my father’s relentless battle with terminal cancer and his passing at the young age of 64, my emotions were in complete turmoil. I was angry at him for leaving, at God for the suffering he endured, at the world in general for not taking notice. I searched for an outlet – a way to vent my feelings, and was fortunate in finding the resolution I needed by writing Flaherty’s Crossing.
In the course of creating this story, I had the opportunity to speak to various individuals who have lost loved ones and came to realize that everyone is somehow affected by this non-discriminating disease. This novel became more than a fictional account. It evolved into a personal journey – one that my father has traveled on right beside me, inspiring and encouraging me all along the way.
In order to honor his memory and to do my part to bring an end to this terrible disease in our lifetime, I have chosen to donate all the proceeds from the sale of this book to the cancer research center at Providence Medical Center, and strongly urge anyone who enjoys reading to purchase a copy of Flaherty’s Crossing. If you take a moment to visit one or both of my websites, you’ll discover a direct buy button, complete excerpts to read, a book trailer to watch, and the inspiration that lead to this story.